Court sides with Congress in battle for Trump’s bank records

President Donald meets French President Emmanuel Macron at Winfield House Tuesday Dec. 3 2019 in London

President Donald meets French President Emmanuel Macron at Winfield House Tuesday Dec. 3 2019 in London

A federal appeals court has ruled that President Trump needs to comply with a request from Congress for the president's financial records, a win for House Democrats who have been fighting in the courts for months to obtain the president's banking records.

Two banks must turn over President Donald Trump's financial records to the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives, dealing another blow to the President's efforts to block Congress' move to obtain his financial records, a federal appeals court in NY ruled Tuesday. Trump has argued that the subpoenas overreach and are politically motivated.

In this case, Trump sued to block a subpoena to Deutsche Bank and Capital One seeking financial records for Trump, his family and his business.

The House Intelligence and Financial Services committees had subpoenaed the banks, Deutsche Bank and Capital One, for records including Trump's tax returns and those of his family members. The lawyers for the congressional committees say they need access to documents from the banks to investigate possible "foreign influence in the US political process" and possible money laundering from overseas.

If the subpoena is enforced and the documents are produced, the records could illuminate the president's business history and personal wealth. The panel said that congressional investigations "substantially "overbalance" the privacy interests invaded by disclosure of financial documents".

Trump, who is fighting attempts by Democrats and a NY prosecutor to force him to release eight years of tax returns, sued to stop the banks from complying. A 2017 disclosure form showed that Trump had at least $130 million of liabilities to the bank. He broke with tradition by not releasing his tax returns as a candidate in 2016 and as president.

A representative for Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

Donald Trump's legal efforts to hide his tax returns and related financial records have not gone especially well. The committees could object to those potential exclusions, the court ruled. The Supreme Court last week put the lower court ruling on hold to give Trump time to appeal.

The high court has given the president until December 5 to file an appeal to a lower court ruling directing financial institutions to turn over the documents.

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